Ed Gillespie’s Trumpian Appeal to the Alt-Right

by Les Schreiber

The recent events in Charlottesville to protest the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue morphed into a shocking display of anti-Semitism.  The pictures of torch-bearing protesters chanting “Jews will not replace us” resembled 1930s marches in Nuremberg, Germany.  The current leader of the Republican Party, Donald Trump, could not bring himself to decisively separate himself from this outrage.  His comment  that both sides had good and bad people implied support of those who created the greatest horror of the 20th century.

This type of bigotry is on the rise. The so-called Alt-Right now seems to form a significant portion of the base of the Republican Party. One consequence is the resurgence of The Forward, which was originally published in Yiddish in the early 20th Century. The paper was on the verge of disbanding itself in the 1990’s but in recent years resurrected itself in English as a magazine covering the rise in anti-Semitic incidents and tracking bigoted web sites.

In a recent opinion piece Princeton Economics Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman examined the campaign of Trumpian nominee Ed Gillespie. By standing tall against the removal Confederate statues, this Trump surrogate has politicized an issue that will attract the Alt-Right base of his party. Ed has also run ads implying that the Democratic nominee supports immigrant gangs and sanctuary cities for them to hide in. Neither charge appears to be true. But it plays well with the Alt-Right fear of immigrants.

Next Tuesday’s results will reverberate beyond Capitol Square.

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9 responses to “Ed Gillespie’s Trumpian Appeal to the Alt-Right”

  1. musingsfromjanus Avatar

    This hate piece, neatly wrapped in innuendo, false assertions and questionable or erroneous fact is despicable.

    First, it is public knowledge that hordes of antifa and other alt-left types poured into Charlottesville hoping for and intending violence. And it should be obvious that there are many who do not think destroying historical art advances any cause whether ISIS or American Liberals are the agents.

    Except for those unable to discern a faulty syllogism, Trump’s comments do not in any way represent an endorsement of any of these groups!

    As unimaginable as it apparently is to the American leftist of which the cited Krugman could be a high priest, intelligent, moral, American-loving people can be and are Republican. The author’s suggestion that the Republican party is increasingly alt-right, of course, is intended to inflame and dehumanize while also ridiculous. If the author were paying attention, he would have noticed that the Republican party is picking up former Democrats in droves. But if they’re all Alt-Right, anything to squash them is legitimate.

    Gillespie’s campaign has been a model of civility compared to the disgusting campaign of Northam whose latest ad antic was so vile it made national news as a poster child of bigotry and incitement and had to be pulled.

    Finally, the author slyly attempts to place everyone with concerns about immigration policy as Alt-Right and afraid of immigration. This is a Liberal meme- recast the dialogue into something unmentionable and then condemn. However, most of the country, fortunately, isn’t buying this kind of debased argument as polls show the overwhelming issue of a great majority is ILLEGAL and UNCHECKED immigration combined with defiance of the law to protect ILLEGAL immigrants even when wanted for crimes –not immigration. Something that also seems to really perplex these leftists is that a considerable number of those concerned are immigrants -recent or otherwise.

  2. It’s a shame that when we attempt to talk about the most pressing issue facing us these days — the dilemma faced by good people trying to motivate the electorate in the current polarized, poisonous political atmosphere — the very fact that we’re talking across the political divide attracts trolls whose vitriol is not conversation but provocation intended to end conversation, and whose purpose is to demean and insult the speaker, not engage respectfully with his argument.

  3. By standing tall against the removal Confederate statues, this Trump surrogate has politicized an issue that will attract the Alt-Right base of his party.

    Yeah, Gillespie is way out of the mainstream on the Confederate statue controversy. He embraces the provide-context-don’t-tear-them-down solution originally proposed by African-American Mayor Levar Stoney. He agrees with such notorious racists as Doug Wilder and Terry McAuliffe that the City of Richmond has better things to do with its money than remove Civil War statues. And he’s so far out on the right-wing extreme that only 54% of Virginians agree with him while 36% disagree.

    As for the characterization of Gillespie as a “Trump surrogate,” tell that to Corey Stewart, the guy who did run as a Trump wannabe and put defense of the statues at the center of his campaign — and lost the nomination.

    If you want insight into Virginia politics, the last guy you should be quoting is Paul Krugman. When was the last time the guy even visited Virginia? Les, anyone from the New York Times writing about Virginia is writing through an ideological prism. Krugman is totally captive to his biases and stereotypes about the South.

  4. LarrytheG Avatar

    well.. I’m staying out of this… 😉

  5. Steve Haner Avatar
    Steve Haner

    This has been a very disappointing campaign, since both candidates have much to recommend them and neither seems the type to play the race card. Yet racial appeals are more prominent in this election than in any other I can remember, including 1989 when Wilder made history. Ignoring the usual “you went first, no you went first” BS, the truth is that both sides took a conscious decision to use the statues issue to their perceived benefit. No middle ground allowed on that one. Northam was also put on the spot over a bill dealing with sanctuary cities and again, both sides are happy to use the immigration debate to their perceived benefit. I just wish it had stopped there.

    It is total bull that Northam would stand by and let MS 13 overrun VA, but it is just as outrageous to imply that Gillespie supporters are going to run down Latino kids on the street in their pickups. I would say again, a plague on both their houses, but sadly this is also our house.

    Yes, the results next week will be very instructive. Gillespie is the classic big tent, Lee Atwater, 1000 points of light conservative. Once upon a time that was also me preaching about expanding the appeal of the party beyond the usual stereotype. If Bush 45 or Marco or even Ted Cruz lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue today, this election would have been over at Labor Day. But Gillespie got dealt a different hand. We’ll see how it works out. Everybody who runs in 2018 is watching very closely.

    1. Steve Haner Avatar
      Steve Haner

      Oh, and speaking as a lobbyist myself, once it was clear he was going to be attacked over his clients – the proper response should have been to focus on some of his other clients, clients that voters might be glad to hear about. It is also true in politics that every action has an equal and opposite reaction – “hell yes I’m a lobbyist and look at all these great outcomes I worked on!”

    2. LarrytheG Avatar

      Well I know this is highly irregular but we mostly agree.. Gawd!

      What this proves is that even pretty reasonable candidates these days get pushed into the maw of partisan crap.

      But the bottom line is that if Gillespie gets the Gov.. he’s gone to be getting all kinds of uber-partisan crappola from the GOP GA – that would never be tolerated by a Dem gov.

      Get ready for more vaginal probes… and whatever other foolishness the zealots can convince their colleagues to vote on..

      and.. oh yeah.. Dominion will get what they want also..

  6. djrippert Avatar

    I have a very hard time considering Ed Gillespie “Trumpian”. Gillespie ran against Mark Warner for US Senate back in 2014 – long before Trump’s improbably win. Gillespie seems to be his own man rather than part of the “Trump Machine”. The campaigns have been a train wreak with both sides reduced to nothing more than negative campaigning.

    1. Based on everything Gillespie (as opposed to his campaign) has said I agree with you. But he is responsible for his campaign. And, judging from the cowering example set by the Republicans in Congress, we can have very little confidence in the prediction that “yes he’s a Republican but he’s his own man . . . .” Perhaps once elected as our Governor either candidate would find a little more backbone — but that’s a gamble, isn’t it?

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